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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Sick leave and sick pay




This is the time of year when a lot of people are getting colds and flus and may have to take time off work. Today we are going to look at what support is available if you find yourself in a situation where you have to take time off work due to illness.

Q. Can you clarify what rights to paid sick leave that employees have?

A: Until this year, 2023, you had no legal right to be paid while you were on sick leave from work, no matter how long you had worked for your employer. However, this has changed.

Since 1 January 2023, you have a right to 3 days’ sick pay a year. This is called statutory sick pay (that means the legal minimum). Sick pay is paid by your employer at 70% of your normal pay up to a maximum of €110 a day.

The entitlement to paid sick leave is being phased in over 4 years:

2023 - 3 days covered
2024 - 5 days covered
2025 - 7 days covered
2026 - 10 days covered

Sick days can be taken as consecutive days or non-consecutive days. The sick pay year is the calendar year, so it runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Q. Is every person who is in employment entitled to sick pay?

A: To qualify for statutory sick pay you must be an employee and have worked for your employer for at least 13 continuous weeks before you are sick – that’s about 3 months. You must also be certified by a GP as unable to work.

Q. Does this mean that the employee needs a medical cert to get sick pay?

Yes - under the sick leave legislation, you must be certified by a GP as unable to work to qualify for statutory sick pay. You should be certified from day 1 of your sick leave.

You have a right to SSP from the first day you are off sick. Your employer cannot apply ‘waiting days’ before you get sick pay.

Q. How is the sick pay calculated?

Your statutory sick leave payment must be paid at your normal daily rate. You are entitled to 70% of your normal gross pay, up to a maximum €110 a day.

Q. Some employers may already have a sick pay scheme – how does this new scheme impact on those situations?

A: Yes, some employers already pay sick leave and may already offer their employees more generous sick pay arrangements than the new statutory scheme. These would normally be outlined within your contract of employment. However, the important point to note is that any company's sick leave scheme can't be less than the statutory amount.

Q. What are my options if I experience problems getting sick pay?

A: If you do not get statutory sick pay, contact your employer to try to resolve the issue informally first.

If you cannot resolve the issue directly with your employer, you can make a formal complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Contact your local Citizens Information Centre for information on how to make a complaint to the WRC. You must make your complaint within 6 months of the dispute. The time limit can be extended for a further 6 months if there is reasonable cause for the delay.

Q. This new statutory sick pay scheme provides sick pay for a limited number of days e.g. 3 days in 2023. What happens if I am off sick for more than 3 days?

A: If you are off work sick for more than 3 days, and you have enough PRSI contributions, you can apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for a payment called Illness Benefit.

If you do not have enough PRSI contributions, you should contact the DSP’s representative at your local health centre. They will assess your situation and you may have entitlement to Supplementary Welfare Allowance which is means-tested.

Anyone needing information or advice can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on or log on to for further information.

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American choir to perform in St Mary’s Cathedral

Music lovers are in for a rare treat on Monday night when a top US choir visits Killarney. The Colquitt Accapella choir under the direction of Mr. Jimmy L. Jarvis […]



Music lovers are in for a rare treat on Monday night when a top US choir visits Killarney.

The Colquitt Accapella choir under the direction of Mr. Jimmy L. Jarvis Jr is from the city of Moultie in the state of Georgia in the United States of America.

The choir performs multiple times a year and also produces and performs a large musical every year, with the latest production being ‘The Addams Family’ which was a sold out success.

The Colquitt Choir will be performing at St Mary’s Cathedral thanks to support form the KDYS.

More information is available from the KDYS on 066 71 21674 or

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HeartBeat’s cook off – be early!

This month HeartBeat Killarney has come up with a new slant on safe cooking. A free copy of the cook book ‘101 Square Meals – Easy recipes for everyday life’ […]




This month HeartBeat Killarney has come up with a new slant on safe cooking.

A free copy of the cook book ‘101 Square Meals – Easy recipes for everyday life’ will be available to all those who come early to the May meeting on Tuesday night.

This book from Safefood which is supported by the HSE & MABS will come to life on the night as chefs from The International Hotel Killarney have very kindly volunteered to cook some of the recipes in the book for a tasting session during the meeting.

Nutritionist Paula Duggan will be on hand to discuss the nutritional benefits of each recipe prepared for tasting. She can also advise on any tweaks required to meet individual tastes and needs.

There will be four main recipes available to taste during the course of the evening; Meat Loaf, Baked Stuffed Fish, Chicken Fingers and Spanish Tortillas. There is a fifth recipe for tasting on the night but all that Chairperson Billy O’Sullivan will say about it is “It will be available at the end of the night with a cup of tea and we hope it will send everyone home with a smile on their face.”

This is a night that the HeartBeat group has worked long and hard to make happen.

“It came together because of the amazing generosity of Tracy Coyne, Catriona White and the wonderful Kitchen Team at the International.” said Billy. In these times when the price of foods has risen dramatically it is still possible to eat healthily with the guidance from this book. There are lots of tips also on food storage, freezing food, kitchen hygiene and food allergens.

HeartBeat meetings are FREE and all are welcome to come along on Tuesday May 30th at 8pm at the Parish Centre beside The Church of the Resurrection Park Road V93 WN32.


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